my very strong impression of most
>teaching about evolution is that it is not taught in this way,
>but as truth which has been revealed by authority, and for
>which a confession of faith will be required on examination.
>I've brought this sort of consideration up elsewhere and
>been told that ordinary people are too stupid to use the
>Scientific Method and should listen to their betters,
>especially those in white coats. Surely no one on this
>mailing list would take that position, however.
Look, Gordon, electro-shocking someone in manifest pain on command of reassuring white coated authorities is not analagous to the teaching of evolutionary theory (evidence of descent from common origins; theory of natural selection as main cause of evolutionary transformation) but to the force feeding of creationism on the basis of scriptural authority in the face of manifest evidence to the contrary.
What do you think inculcates submission to authority?
It is not authoritarian to require that educated people have both understood the nature of the evidence for the claim that all life has evolved from a few or one simple life form and grasped the theory of natural selection. The better one understands either of these, the greater chance one can develop reasonable criticisms of either or both (I would indeed support a struggle over the teaching of natural selection or ultra Darwinism as a dogma--but this is not at all what is transpiring).
Indeed your anti elitism reads to me as a contemptuous disregard for the importance of ordinary people learning to think scientifically and grapple with difficult and disturbing ideas. It seems to me that you want to protect people from truth and science out of intellectual haughtiness.